Quincy police will soon be outfitted with new body cameras. At Monday night’s city council meeting, aldermen unanimously approved a contract with a company out of Georgia to get those cameras.
Aldermen approved the purchase of 58 body cameras and 17 in car cameras from a company called Bodyworn.
Chief Rob Copley says every officer will have a body camera on him or her at all times. The camera, which is similar to a smartphone, slides into the officers vest and has automatic recording. Another feature includes gunshot detection. The camera begins recording and recalls two minutes of audio and video prior to the incident. The camera also sends a call for help message which shows the officer’s location. The message then goes to dispatch and all officers within proximity.
"That will instantly take the footage off the camera and put it into the Cloud in storage so there is no accusation of tampering with the video and there’s no concern of losing the video because it will be, in many times, viable evidence for us," said Copley.
Alderman Tom Ernst says it was important for him to pass the resolution in an effort to protect the safety of both the public and police officers.
When asked if last month’s officer involved shooting swayed his opinion on this issue, Ernst said it did not play a role in his decision making.
"It didn’t sway my opinion and I don’t think it swayed anyone else," said Ernst. "I think it was just a circumstance that had happened at the same time but I do think that a body camera would’ve helped that situation out with the investigation."
The total cost for these cameras is $339,950. QPD will enter into a five year contract to lease the cameras. Copley says that gives them the opportunity to replace cameras if they break and the opportunity to get new versions of the software throughout those five years.
Copley says they plan on rolling out the new body cameras and new vest covers by the summer.